Saturday, March 19, 2011

KULINARYA COOKING CLUB March 2010 ENSALADANG PAKO

March signals the end of winter and the start of spring in the US where our host for this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club Erika is from. It's also the start of summer here in the Philippines and it's perfect for this month's theme: Vegetables.
Summer is hot and sticky here in the tropics and I couldn't be bothered to cook in a hot kitchen so I decided to make a salad which is one of my favorites, Ensaladang Pako or Fiddlehead Fern Salad.
According to Wikipedia: Fiddleheads or Fiddlehead greens are the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (circinate vernation). As fiddleheads are harvested early in the black season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground.


The pako that we buy from the nearest vegetable market here is not unfurled anymore but they are still fresh and taste great. I added crispy dilis to the salad for texture and to round out the taste.

ENSALADANG PAKO

Fiddlehead Fern/Pako, washed
Tomatoes (sliced, deseeded and diced)
Red Onions/Sibuyas Tagalog (peeled, and sliced thinly)
Anchovies/Dilis (fried until crispy)

Dressing:
Garlic, peeled
Bird's Eye Chili/Siling Labuyo
Calamansi Juice (from 4 Calamansi)
Fish Sauce/Patis

Pound garlic and bird's eye chili until the crushed and combined. Add the calamansi and fish sauce, taste and adjust.


Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

21 comments:

Wok with Ray said...

I've never had this kind of salad before. I have to check Asian markets to see if it's available where I live. It's a good looking salad with the crispy dilis. Thanks for sharing.

Annie said...

I've always eaten pako cooked with coconut cream. This salad version looks really delicious, specially with the crispy dilis.

msmandaluyong said...

I love the addition of crispy dilis... would have to look for this particular veg to recreate this though. Can I use rocket? Would that taste the same as pako? (just figured coz they kinda look the same..)

TaGa_Luto said...

I'm so craving for this! I haven't had this in like forever! We use to have this w/ coconut cream just like Annie. I like your version and the dilis wow! but the problem is..no pako here. I'm hoping and wishing that'll be on our Asian Market soon. Great job, Dahlia!

chef_d said...

@Wok with Ray--i wanted the extra crunch of dilis that's why i added some :)
@Annie--I haven't tried cooked pako but it sounds yummy with coconut cream!

chef_d said...

@msmandaluyong--rocket or arugula is a little bit peppery compared to pako, maybe you can use other less-strong tasting greens :)
@Pia--thanks Pia, will definitely try the cooked version too!

Adora's Box said...

I've never had pako in a salad but I'm guessing it is the same fern tips eaten as a stir fry in Malaysia. I like the vibrant and fresh mix of ingredients in the salad, the patis and calamansi (no calamansi in the UK though) in the dressing and of course the crispy dilis.

Katrina said...

Wow, that looks so fresh and light! I'm going to the Philippines in April, and hope I'll be able to try this! Looks amazing!

SKIP TO MALOU said...

I saw this being serve in our table when I was growing up in the Philippines but I guess it was one of those times I got sneaky and my mom never noticed it and got away with it haha. You prolly know how it is growing up to be forced eating gulay haha. But would love to try this now and esp with that dilis hihihi.

Caroline said...

Pako (fiddlehead ferns) had become quite the trend here in US, I think more because it is difficult to find &/or only available a certain time of the year.
Love that you made them into salad and the dilis croutons, yum!

chef_d said...

@Adrora--Yes it might be those fern tips from Malaysia :)I love how easy the dressing is.
@Katrina--April is a great time to be here in the Philippines, you definitely have to try pako!

chef_d said...

@Malou--Oh yeah, I remember when I was a kid, I had to be forced to eat ampalaya!
@Caroline--This is a fairly new vegetable for me too, didn't know it tasted so good until I had it at a restaurant :)

Ninette said...

I've never had fiddleheads before, but they are very popular now in the US. Maybe one day...

Joy said...

That looks wonderful.

Indie.Tea said...

Yum, that sounds delicious. And it looks so spring-like and green and fresh.
Fiddlehead ferns are very expensive in the U.S., which is one reason that I've never tried them (the other is that I've only seen in the produce store about two times).

MaryMary said...

This sounds like such a fun cooking club! And wow--yum!!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I know so little about filipino cuisine and love learning so much from this club!

Theodore said...

Definitely a summer treat ! My mom adds kesong puti from laguna..yum!!

cusinera said...

That looks soooo good, I haven't had pako for a long time...my Inay from Laguna always serves this=)

Smarla said...

As always, great job with the cooking challenges! :D pwede bang ako taga kain after each challenge? hahaha

Ciggy said...

i was laughing when i read, ensaladang pako (pronouncing it as pako like nails) and my wife corrected me Pako with the accent at the end.

This is a classic. one of the few actual vegetable salads that we can create using native Filipino greens. Yup, the dilis is the best combo for pako. hurrah!